In downtown Madrid, just south of the Royal Palace, the newest Google Campus is celebrating just one month in operation.
Campus.co, a Google space, is a space for entrepreneurs to work, connect, and learn. It’s an initiative of Google for Entrepreneurs, the company’s entrepreneurial support organization, that has already launched in London (2012), Tel Aviv (2012), and Seoul (2015). Separate from the local Google office, each Google Campus is open to the community and has a few different sections:
Cafe: Here, entrepreneurs can work for free from Monday to Friday, grab a coffee, and enjoy fast Internet (300 Mbps in the new Madrid location). Campus Madrid has seen over 4,500 people pass through this space in the first month.
Coworking space: Google invites a local organization to manage coworking desks inside each Campus. If you want a permanent place to work in Madrid, you can rent a desk from TechHub for €245 per month.
Event space: As part of its “support the community” mission, Google Campus offers free space for entrepreneurial events, such as networking events or hackathons. Anyone can apply to host an event.
Education: At a Google Campus, you can spruce up your startup knowledge by attending talks by seasoned entrepreneurs or getting mentored by local investors or Googlers. (In Madrid, 40% of Googlers from the local office volunteered to help with mentorship and education.) You can also apply for a Campus Exchange or Campus for Moms program, which are longer and more intensive. The first Campus Exchange in Madrid welcomed eight Spanish and Portuguese B2B startups to Campus for a week to network and work on their businesses.
Madrid has a growing startup community with room for growth, which is the perfect match for Campus. “Madrid has a big potential to become a new global hub for innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Virginia Wassmann, a communications manager at Google. “Nevertheless, there are still many challenges that Spanish entrepreneurs face.” You could say the same about Warsaw and Sao Paulo, where Google Campus is headed later this year.
Google Campus lets Google keep its ear to the ground, in touch with the newest and craziest ideas that entrepreneurs are working on. Presumably it’s the kind of support that Larry Page and Sergey Brin could have used 17 years ago when they were toiling away in a garage – although that didn’t hold them back much.
“Entrepreneurs have transformative ability to build products that solve our daily challenges, improve our communities, and strengthen our economies. This growth will ultimately help Google and the open web grow as well,” says Wassmann.